Plans are being made to begin advanced lab testing and scale-up for an innovative recycling solution to the growing problem of textile waste. Tex-TCat fluid bed catalytic pyrolysis technology efficiently recycles mixed waste textiles directly into the same chemical feedstocks (including benzene, toluene and xylenes) that are used today to make virgin synthetics like polyester (PET) and polyamide (PA) — providing a closed-loop, fiber-to-fiber solution to today’s textile recycling problems.
92 million tons of waste still end up in landfills due to the lack of commercially viable recycling technologies for low-quality and mixed textiles as well as textile blends. Tex-TCat technology from Anellotech, Inc., Pearl River, NY/USA, delivers a direct pathway from mixed textile waste to secondary materials (BTX) instead of intermediates like pyrolysis oil. This involves no incineration or burning of waste feedstock. Lab-scale studies have demonstrated that a variety of common textile materials can be process including cotton, polyester, polyamide, elastane, acrylic and polyurethane as well as blends of these and other commonly used textile materials.
Tex-TCat is a recycling solution that complements mono-fiber garments as well as all non-recyclable blends and functional textiles. The technology recycles synthetic and natural fibers as well as blends into valuable chemicals, effectively improving circular economics and lowering global greenhouse gas emissions. The aim is to operate at scale with the first plant able to process ~200,000 tons/year, and subsequent plants as large as 1 million tons, depending on feedstock availability.
The development program’s next steps include optimizing the feedstock preparation for efficient reactor feeding as well as additional lab studies that will lead to long-term trials in Anellotech’s fully automated 0.5-ton/day process demonstration plant.